A common trait that all happy, energetic people have in common is that they know their strengths and they play to them. They are also honest about their weaknesses and they delegate, hire or just plain cut out of life the stuff they are not so good at.
One of the questions on my client intake forms is "what are you ridiculously good at?" It fascinates me that this is the only question that often comes back a "sorry but I can't think of anything" response. "What is your greatest fear?" or "What are areas where you need improvement" on the other hand will have a whole long list! So many people struggle with being able to objectively see their strengths but have no problem listing a whole heap of perceived weaknesses. It's a shame because when we tap into our superpowers is when we truly live our best life.
Here's the thing. We all have natural aptitudes, skills and abilities: superpowers if you like. We also have other things we are less good at. Life is easier, more energetic, more fun and usually a lot more lucrative if we are firmly playing to our strengths. It's our job to identify our own strengths and play to them. In my opinion life is way too short to be working on our weaknesses; when you play a life according to your strengths and delegate your weaknesses they become less and less important anyway.
The reason many people find it so hard to identify their strengths is because when we find something easy and effortless we assume everyone else does too. We assume that everyone finds it that easy to navigate, or fix that PC, to put people instantly at ease, or organise with such ruthless efficiency. Because it comes so naturally we tend to underestimate how special that skill is. We routinely underestimate our own abilities and overestimate other people's.
Here are a few questions to get you started on identifying your strengths. If you find this exercise hard I want you to persist until you have at least three things in each category.
You can list as many as you like but no less than three. Feel free to ask those closest to you for inspiration; they will often have a much truer picture of your strengths and superpowers than you do.
What are you brilliant at?
d) Business /Financial?
What else is fabulous about you?
What is your greatest accomplishment?
What are your greatest strengths?
What is your superpower?
A final note here on modesty. Modesty and humility are fantastic qualities. Doing yourself down and playing small in this world are not. False modesty is such a waste of time. If you are good at something, state it. Own it. Big it up. If you are a kick-ass guitar player then own it. If you are a super-organised declutterer, say so! Happy people don't apologise for who and what they are, they maximise it. They know their own strengths, in a very deep way, and love and accept them and play to them unapologetically.
You are a fabulous human being with amazing and unique skills, qualities and characteristics that make you uniquely you. What are they? Go celebrate them today.
Louise Thompson is a life coach, yoga teacher and corporate escapee. For more from Louise visit www.positivebalance.co.nz.